Arsene Wenger accepts it was perhaps “ludicrous” to believe Arsenal could haul themselves back to the top of the Barclays Premier League - but remains convinced his young team have the desired hunger to stay there come May.
“If you keep belief, no matter what people say, it can strengthen the belief in the heads of my players and get them stronger,” the Arsenal manager said.
Wenger added: “We believe we have a real chance and I am convinced this team will have a real go. It is very important we keep a good mixture between humility, with our feet on the ground, and of course ambition and desire to win it.”
After Sunday’s FA Cup game clash with Stoke, Wenger's men will be about to embark on a run of fixtures which is likely to make or break their campaign.
First up will be a trip to Aston Villa on January 27, before the visit of Manchester United.
The following weekend will see Arsenal at Chelsea and they then host Liverpool.
“We are in a fight where we are at the top of the league at the moment,” he said. “The real difference is made with the teams you fight against [for the title]. Those games have mathematically a much bigger impact on the table than
games like against Bolton.”
Defender William Gallas, meanwhile, will not face any retrospective disciplinary action from the FA following his tackle on Bolton's Mark Davies.